After showing initial promise, an AIDS vaccine candidate developed in Cuba will soon be ready for its first human clinical trial, researchers announced Monday at the International Biotech Conference-Havana 2012.
"The new AIDS trial vaccine already was tested successfully [on mice] and now we are preparing a very small, tightly controlled Phase I clinical trial" with HIV-positive patients whose disease is not advanced, Enrique Iglesias, head of the vaccine development team at the Biotech and Genetic Engineering Center (CIGB), told attendees of the Havana conference.
CIGB, which consists of about 20 research units on Havana's western end, is the engine behind a major export. Cuba annually ships out $400 million in biotechnology products like vaccines and other drugs; nickel is the nation's only bigger export.
The vaccine candidate, TERAVAC-HIV-1, is created with recombinant proteins and aims "to cause a cellular response against the virus," said Iglesias. However, he quickly downplayed expectations. "So far, there have been more than 100 clinical tests [on humans] with HIV" in Cuba and elsewhere to develop an AIDS vaccine, "and all of them have failed," he noted.
Some 600 researchers from about 38 countries are taking part in the conference.
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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